Because the Angels (Paperback)
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 9781463597931, 238pp.
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
About the Author
Kathleen Kern has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) since 1993, serving on assignments in Haiti, Washington, DC, the West Bank, Chiapas, MX, South Dakota, Colombia, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Her first novel manuscript, Where Such Unmaking Reigns, was selected as a finalist for Barbara Kingsolver's Bellwether prize and garnered her a fellowship to workshop the manuscript with Lee K. Abbott at the Chenango Valley Writer's conference. In 2007, her chapter on mineral exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, "The Human Cost of Cheap Cell Phones" appeared in A Game as Old As Empire-a follow-up to John Perkins's bestseller, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Kern works from home most of the year in Rochester, NY, editing releases that come from CPT's projects in Northern Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Colombia, and North American Indigenous communities. She also continues to serve in the field. Since 1998, she has written a monthly column, "World Neighbors," for Mennonite Weekly Review, which explores peace and human rights issues across the globe in ways that the U.S. media does not. She has written a general history of her organization (In Harm's Way: A History of Christian Peacemaker Teams) and a history of CPT's work in the West Bank (As Resident Aliens). During the 2005-06 CPT hostage crisis, upon which some of Because the Angels is based, she spent most of her time monitoring coverage of the kidnappings, crafting responses to inaccurate comments in the media and among the pundit class, and, like all CPTers and the hostages' loved ones, just waiting. Tangential anecdote: After watching Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the author wrote to its creator, Joss Whedon, saying that becoming engrossed in the episodes had been therapeutic after a particularly difficult stint in the field with Christian Peacemaker Teams. She also noted that the humorous interplay between the main characters in Buffy was similar to the interactions she had had with her colleagues in the field. He wrote back, saying that he had wanted to do a show about human rights workers, but the networks weren't interested until he added vampires. Many years passed before the author realized he was joking.